Thai Chicken Soup

This week Southern California was hit by a fierce rainstorm. We go a little bananas when it rains. At my house we even got HAIL! It was magical. I was craving something warm and nourishing for dinner that wasn’t the usual chicken soup or spaghetti, but also easy to make and inexpensive and I didn’t want to shop for any ingredients because I’m lazy and anyway it’s illegal to drive when it rains here.
I’m so totally fun to live with.
As it happened, just as I was having all of these ridiculous and childish demands creative ideas, I was paging through the Parade magazine, and spotted this recipe for Spicy Thai Coconut Chicken Soup. It sounded really good, and I had the ingredients. Most of them. OK, I had a can of coconut milk. Can I live?
So I invented my own thing. It’s not really Thai, and not really soup, but it hit all the other criteria: hot, nourishing, easy, inexpensive. My family liked it a lot, though Husband said he’d like it even better without meat and more vegetables, so I will for sure try a vegetarian version next time. Most of the family can’t handle too much spice in their food, but you know I jacked up my bowl up with extra chile sauce. I’ve added notes at the end for how to make it vegetarian.
Julie’s Coconut Thai Chicken Soup/Stew
1 Tbsp oil (I used olive, but any vegetable oil would work, including coconut or peanut oil)
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 small onion, finely diced
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ginger, minced
1 Tbsp curry powder
8 oz fideo noodles (or angel hair pasta)
2 quarts chicken broth
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp chile-garlic sauce
2 cups frozen peas
1 can coconut milk
Serve with: limes cut in wedges, minced cilantro, chopped jalepeno
Heat oil to medium in a large soup pot. Add chicken thighs and cook approximately 7 minutes on each side, until juices run clear and chicken is no longer pink. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and add onion, garlic, ginger, and curry powder to the fat remaining at the bottom of the pot. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the noodles and stir until they are coated. Add stock, soy sauce, sugar, chile sauce, and peas and stir well. Let the soup come to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes, or until noodles are tender. Stir in the coconut milk until blended. Serve with garnishes on the side.
To make it vegetarian: substitute whatever vegetables you like for the chicken. Carrots and mushrooms would be particularly good, I think. Use vegetarian broth instead of chicken broth. Try adding corn in place of the peas. Potatoes, I think would be particularly delicious in place of the noodles though you’d have to simmer it just a tad longer.
Have a good week, friends. Let me know if you try this and what you think!

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